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Social Scene: Blessing of the Fleet at Marco Island Yacht Club

Submitted

02.17.18

Blessing of the Fleet at Marco Island Yacht Club

Twenty-three boats and captains and more than 100 crew members participated in the 2018 Marco Island Blessing of the Fleet on Saturday Feb. 17.  

Dean Heard, Captain of "No Problems," salutes members of the Marco Island Yacht Club Bridge as they stand at attention during the 2018 Blessing of the Fleet ceremony.   "Anchors Aweigh" and other military songs were played as each boat passed the dock.

Sponsored by the Marco Island Yacht Club (MIYC), the Blessing of the Fleet is a traditional invocation of good fortune for boaters. The ceremony began many centuries ago in Mediterranean fishing communities, and is now an annual highlight in Marco Island and many seacoast communities across the United States.

The fleet of sailing and power vessels assembled in the Marco River between Factory Bay and the Jolley Bridge and at 11 a.m. received a special maritime blessing from MIYC Chaplin Alan Sandlin. Then, led by the Marco Island Fire Dept. vessel “J.W. Adams,” the boats paraded past the Marco Island Yacht Club and each boat’s captain and crew exchanged ceremonial salutes with Yacht Club Commodore Bob Winterhalter, MIYC Bridge Officers and past commodores.  

In addition to MIYC members, participants in this year’s event included members of the Sailing Association of Marco Island (SAMI), Marco Island Marina Association (MIMA) and the Marco Island Power Squadron (MIPS).

Captains and crews enjoyed the buffet luncheon and music following the Blessing of the Fleet ceremony at the Marco Island Yacht Club.
Yacht Club Sailing Fleet Captain Chip Pittman plays "Taps" as part of the Blessing of the Fleet ceremony.
Marco Island Yacht Club Commodore Bob Winterhalter, right, and Bridge Officers salute as the vessels approach the Yacht Club as part of the Blessing of the Fleet ceremony.
Grand Pelican owners Pete and Peggy Frazier and crew stand at attention as they pass the Marco Island Yacht Club as part of the Blessing of the Fleet event.